Cover image for Running out of night
Title:
Running out of night
Author:
Lovejoy, Sharon, 1945- , author.
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Delacorte Press, [2014]
Physical Description:
287 pages : map ; 22 cm
Summary:
"Journey of an abused twelve-year-old white girl and an escaped slave girl who run away together and form a bond of friendship while seeking freedom"--
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780385744096

9780375991479
Format :
Book

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J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

Fans of Elijah of Buxton, Trouble Don't Last, and Stealing Freedom will be drawn to this tale of the incredible journey of an abused twelve-year-old white girl and an escaped slave girl who run away together and form a bond of friendship while seeking freedom.

Every day is a misery for a nameless, motherless Southern girl who is treated cruelly by her pa and brothers. Her life changes forever when a runaway slave named Zenobia turns to her for help and shelter. Longing for her own freedom, the girl decides to run away, and she and Zenobia set off on a harrowing journey. Along the way, Zenobia names the girl Lark, after the bird, for her ability to mimic its song.

Running by night, hiding by day, the girls are pursued by Lark's pa and brothers and by ruthless slave catchers. Brightwell, another runaway slave, joins them, and the three follow secret signs to a stop on the Underground Railroad. When the hideout is raided and Zenobia and Brightwell are captured, Lark sets out alone to rescue her friends.


Author Notes

Sharon Lovejoy is an award winning, bestselling author and illustrator of non-fiction books about nature and gardening for children and adults. This is her debut novel. She divides her time between the Central Coast of California and Maine.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

When Zenobia, a young runaway, turns up on the porch of her father's northern Virginia cabin, a neglected and abused 12-year-old white girl takes the slave in and hides her until they can both flee. Zenobia becomes the first friend Lark ever had. Joined by a third young runaway, Brightwell, they make their way down Catoctin Creek toward Waterford, where they hope to find help in the Quaker community. They're captured but escape from slave hunters only to narrowly escape Lark's father. Even inside Auntie Theodate's house in Waterford they're not safe. Lark tells this suspenseful story in her own distinctive, believable voice, her strong dialect indicated through dropped endings and consistent errors in grammar no apostrophes get in the reader's way. Tiny chapter-opening sayings add atmosphere. What stands out most is the author's depiction of the rural Virginia setting. Lark's knowledge of the natural world leads to a satisfying, nonviolent resolution. An Underground Railroad story with a distinctive flavor.--Isaacs, Kathleen Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Inspired by her ancestors' letters, nonfiction author Lovejoy (The Little Green Island with a Little Red House) sets her first novel in antebellum Virginia as she follows two girls seeking their freedom-one from slavery, the other from her family. Ever since the death of her mother during childbirth, the narrator, now 12, has been abused and denied a name by her Pa (she later becomes known as Lark for her birdlike whistle). After Lark helps to hide Zenobia, a runaway slave (who Lark's Pa and brothers are hunting for), the girls decide to run off together. On the danger-filled trek east toward the Quaker village of Watertown, the girls take turns rescuing and aiding each other, meeting another runaway slave, a boy named Brightwell, as well as Auntie Theodate, who runs a safe house. Written in a believably rough-edged dialect (a glossary is included) and distinguished by lively descriptions and dialogue, Lovejoy's story offers a tense account of the perils facing those who sought freedom in the lead-up to the Civil War. Ages 9-12. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-7-When Zenobia, a fugitive slave, creeps onto the porch of an 1858 Virginia home, the white girl inside schemes to prevent her abusive father from spotting the escapee. Denied a name and mistreated by her motherless family, the girl quickly concludes that her circumstances look little better than plucky Zenobia's and the two resolve to flee together. Neither one has a route planned; still, equipped with determination, good-luck charms, and a prodigious amount of plot-finagling by Lovejoy, they continually elude the passel of slave catchers and incensed family members chasing them. Narrator Lark (her new friend gifts her the name) and Zenobia, joined by an older teen slave, aim for the Quaker town of Waterford, where Lark believes folks will aid in their escape. Throughout the somewhat haltingly paced tribulations they encounter-the town proves vulnerable to the one-dimensional villains trailing the group and illness or injury strikes all three-Lark displays a charming resolve to survive as a trio, an attitude most audiences will find winning, if unlikely and possibly ill-advised.  The rural, mid-19th-century dialect, coupled with the author's interest in ethnobotany, roots the story deeply in the houses, forests, gardens, and even streambeds of antebellum Virginia; Lark's knowledge of plants allows for a satisfying, flora-induced revenge on one slave runner. Unfortunately, a contrived showdown tidies away the rest of the menacing trackers and the abrupt ending feels a mite cheery for the reality of a poor, newly orphaned girl and two fugitive slaves who haven't even made it out of Virginia. Some readers will suspend their disbelief, however, to enjoy the triumph of these intrepid souls.-Robbin E. Friedman, Chappaqua Library, NY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.